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20121205
20121213
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KQED (PBS) 22
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Search Results 0 to 21 of about 22 (some duplicates have been removed)
PBS
Dec 10, 2012 7:00pm PST
house budget committee tells "nightly business report" he is optimistic about getting a fiscal cliff deal by the end of they year. maryland congressman chris van hollen talked with our darren gersh, and began with an update on the status of the talks. >> well, the good news is that the president and the speaker of the house are now in face-to-face discussions. it's always better to be talking than not. the other development is that increasingly congressional republicans recognize that the position that they had staked out is unsustainable. >> one of the arguments we hear from some democrats is that the fiscal cliff isn't really a cliff, it's more like a slope and you could gradually go down it and the withholding from tax wouldn't kick in for a while and the spending cuts wouldn't hurt the economy for a while. do you think it is good idea to go over the deliver and it is more of a slope. >> no, i think would be a mistake to go over the fiscal cliff because it could set in motion lots of things that could be a drag on the economy. that being said, i think if it's clear that the parties were w
PBS
Dec 4, 2012 6:00pm PST
cairo today. >> ifill: we continue our series of conversations about the fiscal cliff. tonight we hear from economist paul krugman. >> i don't think there's going to be much of a deal. i think there's going to be a kind of... there will be an outcome. >> woodruff: from haiti, fred de sam lazaro reports on the efforts to stem a deadly cholera epidemic that began after the 2010 earthquake. >> ifill: and ray suarez talks to author and journalist tom ricks about what he describes as the decline of american military leadership. >> today nobody gets credit for anything and mediocrity is accepted as a core value in the performance of generals. >> ifill: that's all ahead on tonight's newshour. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> and by the bill and melinda gates foundation. dedicated to the idea that all people deserve the chance to live a healthy, productive life. and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you
PBS
Dec 5, 2012 12:00am PST
with president obama today about what they need to see in a fiscal cliff deal. we talk with delaware governor jack markell. >> susie: i'm susie gharib. a coalition of the nation's top c.e.o.s is feeling pessimistic about getting a fiscal cliff deal.
PBS
Dec 5, 2012 3:00pm PST
economic reports and weighed chances for a fiscal cliff deal in washington. the dow jones industrial average gained more than 82 points to close at 13,034. but the nasdaq fell nearly 23 points to close at 2,973. the day's big loser was apple, down more than 6% over concerns that smart phone sales are lagging. former texas congressman jack brooks has died. he served 42 years in the house, and was in the dallas motorcade on november 22nd, 1963 when president kennedy was assassinated. hours later, brooks was on hand as vice president and fellow texan lyndon johnson was sworn in to the presidency. later, brooks helped author the 1964 civil rights act, and he drafted the articles of impeachment against president nixon. jack brooks was 89 years old. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to gwen. >> ifill: lawmakers stepped up the rhetoric, but grew no closer today to agreement on how to avoid slipping over the so- called fiscal cliff. but each side demanded the other compromise. "newshour" congressional correspondent kwame holman begins our coverage. >> i have to just tell y
PBS
Dec 11, 2012 12:00am PST
and you go through these kind of economic times like we've had the last decade and it's just -- i think the difference may be -- so few things -- you know, you wake up one morning and fukushima disaster has taken place. now, the night before i went to bed i wasn't thinking about japan. i wasn't thinking about nuclear power. and now it's all-consuming. it just seems like we're in a period of time that's volatile from a geopolitical standpoint. it's volatile from an environment, nature standpoint. >> rose: jeff immelt for the hour. next. >> rose: general electric is the nation's largest industrial company. it employs over 300,000 people around the world. it makes everything from aircraft engines to power plant turbines to medical imaging equipment. the company has evolved over the last decade over jeff immeant's watch. he has led a global expansion and shed once treasured businesses such as plastics and insurance. in 2011, president obama named him to lead the council on jobs and competitiveness. last month, the country created 146,000 jobs, exceeding expectations in the wake of hurricane sandy. further progress will be tested as the fiscal cliff deadline approaches without a deal inside yet. i'm very pleased to have jeff immelt back on this program. welcome >> charlie, thanks, good to be back with you. >> rose: we've talked many times about g.e. since you took over, i think once since -- just after 2001. where is the company today in terms of where do you want it to be and where do you want it to be in the next five years? >> i think, charlie, what we've tried to do is simplify the portfolio into infrastructure and financial services. we like where the portfolio is today. we think in the infrastructure space there's going to be roughly $4 trillion spent each year, so it's an attractive big market. globally is where our opportunities are so the company's -- probably a decade ago 30% of our revenues were outside the united states. now it's more like 60% or 65%. so we think we've got the portfolio we want. we've dramatically increased the amount of technology. and in the end i think technology and innovation are the competitive advantage. we've got a good global footprint. we're in 140 countries. and we've got these deep relationships with customers so i think it's portfolio, technology, customers and real innovation around services and globalization and that's really where the pane is today. >> rose: one thing you're doing is something called the industrial internet. "businessweek" has a piece on that on the newsstand now. what is that and why is that so important to industry in the future? >> i think every industrial company now with sensor technology and software technology has to think about the analytical way around their products. so a jet engine or m.r.i. scanner or gas turbine creates terra bytes of data. usage data. if we could model a jet engine that saves 1% fuel burn every year, that save it is industry $2 billion. that's a lot of money for our customers and we're trying to take the analyticals as expects and restructure in the a way that benefits our customers. if you think about social media, it was about connecting a billion consumers, right? and change the way they shop or do other things. the industrial internet is about really deep domain, deep verticals where 1% of anything is worth hundreds of billions of dollars. >> rose: we really have come with the internet to this emphasis on data and what data can tell us and the cloud has given us an enormous potential. >> completely. information technology in and of itself creates 5% or 10% of the value. connectivity is 10% of what it's about. the rest is about better decision making, better analytics, saving money. about doctors that know how to make better diagnoses. that's where the next wave is. that's where the action is. what we're saying is, look, industrial companies stay out of that at their own peril. it's no longer a day where you say "i'm going to make the engine and let a software guy decide how it flies." that's what we're focused on. >> rose: are there businesses that still now are in the part of g.e. that you want to spin off or do you have the core companies for the future? >> i think we've got the best portfolio we've had in a decade. financial services is a lot smaller than the last time i was on your show, for obvious reasons. but we're in the range of 60% to 70% of the country is industrial 30% to 40% is financial. that's a pretty good balance for us. so i'd say we're about where we'd like to see the company and places where we have real competitive advantage. >> rose: someone once said the way to judge g.e. executives-- this may have been one of your predecessors-- is how they allocate capital and evaluate people. do you agree with that? >> i think there are certain core competencys that go with the company that we do as a collective. capital allocation is clearly one of them. how we develop leaders is one of them. i would say there's other technology development, i would say in some ways might be as important or more important than the other two and we do that across the company and then i would say globalization. how we really globalize. globalization is a big company game. i can go to china and not be afraid. going to africa and compete with the chinese. i can go to russia and say i can manage the risk-reward equation. so that's where a lot of new consumers are and i would say that is a core competency of a multibusiness big company like g.e. so i'd say it's more than those two but those two are important. >> rose: you once said to me tell me what the global economy will look like and the domestic economy will look like and i can can tell you what g.e. will do. >> uh-huh. >> rose: look ahead to the global economy today and tell me how you see it, where it's going and pra what are the prospects for growth? >> i think the world always revolves around a couple fundamentals. one is where are the people? demographics rule. at times when the u.s. grew the fastest was times when the population was also growing the fastest. so the fact there that there's a billion new consumers joining the middle-class in the next five or ten years, you bet be with them. the second is the cost of materials so basically in in the '90s oil was $15 a barrel for a decade. now it's $80 or $100 or $120. there's a massive amount of wealth that goes with where resources go and things like that that's number two. number see there innovation. where is is the innovation taking place? is it silicon valley? bangalore? other places. so i would say demographics, natural resources, where's the innovation? that's what rules. now, in the case of aviation -- let's take that business. revenue miles are growing 4% or 5% every year because people are flying around the world. but the three biggest airlines in the world today, if you went back ten years and if i said to you the three biggest airlines are going to be emirates and qatar airlines -- >> rose: you're losing it. >> completely in another -- well not american airlines and stuff like that. so that's what -- you've got to be following those trends. now, those trends don't stay the same. in the case of the united states what's different today than ten years ago, this is a country that's rich in energy. the shale gas revolution is real. so maybe you thought your energy strategy was going to take you to africa or saudi arabia or other places. now you come right back around and bring it back here and that's meaningful. >> rose: let's talk about energy and i'll come back to the global picture. i especially want to talk about how you see africa and china and india. looking at energy today, are you in the business of nuclear reactors? >> uh-huh. >> rose: there are people saying because of these new developments in natural gas the demand for nuclear reactors will not be the same. >> uh-huh. >> rose: do you buy that? >> i think it's true. there's no one global answer so u.s. and europe and china are going to have different strategies. but the notion that in this region gas could be $2 to $3 or even $5 $6 for a million b.t.u.s shifts nuke fear this country out over a period of time. there may be a few new reactors built, but not many. >> rose: when do we have energy independence because of the online production of shale? >> here's what i would say, charlie. in other words, somebody who's smarter than i am should pick what's the right strategy. is it independence? is it security? is it something like that? but between canada, mexico, and the united states this region, the and a half a region, could be energy independent very soon. this region could probably be the most powerful or one of the most powerful energy producing regions in the world. and shale gas is just a game changer. it's just -- it's just a game changer is it a pan see yaw yah? no. but it opens up doors and that's something we should have high on the lists of things to do. >> rose: when you see that, what could disrupt that possibility of shale gas playing the role of -- that you see it? >> it exists. so in other words the seismic aspect of it is very real. it exists. what you need to commercialize it is a set of pipelines or a set of capabilities inside a country which the u.s. is pretty good at. you need some new demand. are you going to convert automobiles or other things to natural gas? then i think there's the environmental aspect. nobody wants to do this in ways that harm the environment, but there's ways to solve those problems. so i'd say if you said early on what's the biggest risk to fully developing a resource like that? it's going to be in the environmental side because i think the other things -- there's plenty of capital to solve it. >> rose: so what's the possibility for green energy and alternative energy? >> the first thing i'd say is natural gas in and of itself is inherently greener than the current base so -- >> rose: but you are -- wind -- >> i think wind will continue. i think solar will still be part of the mix. you know, again, i've always advocated for very broad energy -- set of energy solutions. because you never are quite smart enough to figure out which one is going to break through the door at any given point in time. but clearly gas is going to be a bigger part of the mix in the united states going forward. globally -- japan doesn't have any gas so they've got to figure out post-fukushima what they do. europe has to figure out do they want to import gas from russia or build nuclear -- so everybody's got their own set of challenges. but i'm here to tell you this that this country-- unlike any other time in my lifetime-- has more options that are positive than ever before. >> rose: you're bullish on america? >> i think on the energy side for sure. and i'd say on the -- the one thing that never goes away in the united states is the incredible accept of entrepreneurs. so i think if we can get a set of great entrepreneurs, we can go after some big opportunities like energy. there's no reason why the united states can't continue to grow. >> rose: can manufacturing come back to america? >> if you looked -- i'm 30 year g.e. guy. so when i started it was probably 25% of american jobs were manufacturing, now it's 9%. so it is going to go back to be 25% again? probably not. could it be in the low teens? yes. >> rose: apple just announced today -- >> i saw that. i saw what tim did. we brought jobs back to the united states. i think american work force is very productive. i think in the sets of technologies that we make today you can make them here. i actually think that the relationships in general between unions and business and things like that have all progressed over time and the work force is very productive. so there's no reason why the manufacturing base shouldn't be higher in the future and we should make that a goal? you know? in other words, this notion -- this darwinian notion that the u.s. was going to go from farms to manufacturing to service, we were the only guys reading those books, you know? the chinese had a book that said "don't read the american book. it doesn't work." >> rose: and don't read the russian book. >> so i think we can do a better job with manufacturing. i think it's quite important and it's one of the ways you create good middle-class jobs. >> rose: where the the jobs coming from? >> i think energy can provide a ton of jobs. i think housing is getting better everyday. so you're going to get some more jobs there. and i think export markets are going to continue to be pretty robust and the u.s. can play in those places. so in the short term that's where some of the jobs are going to be. but we're going to need more to get unemployment down to a level that society thinks is what the u.s. -- where the u.s. should be. >> rose: how many billions of dollars in revenue are you expecting from china? >> look, we're about seven today. it's growinging about 15% a year. we can play in china. we've got probably 16,000 or 17,000 people in china. we're a net exporter to china from the u.s. so we have good technology products and things like that. >> rose: what are they buying? >> jet engines. health care products. we'll sell more c.t. scanners in china than the united states. never thought i'd see that day. we're competitively advantaged, we do a good job. the goal is you want to be competitive in china, you want to play, but we like the portfolio, you know? we're big in australia. we're big in canada. we're big in the middle east. we're big in africa. i wouldn't want to have a strategy that was solely dependent on china. i like having a diversified geography. >> rose: in the past, you've criticized doing business in china. has it gotten better, easier, from the time you made that observation? >> at the time i made the observation it was when a thing called indigenous innovation was taking place which basically said do business with chinese companies, right? >> rose: if you want to do business here, do business with china. >> and i think companies like g.e. need to speak up from time to time when things aren't right you know? in other words, we've earned the right by and large g.e.'s relationship in china is good. we've been a good investor for a long time. we've taken a lot of heat here in new york city and washington, d.c. because we've stood tall as good, honest partner with the chinese. but what's also incumbent on you is when you've earned that position occasionally you have to speak up. and i did. >> rose: as you know, when you speak up about china people also say "look at general electric, this great american company. they're exporting jobs as well." >> we have jobs all over the world, right? so we are the second-biggest exporter behind boeing. we're a net exporter in every other country in the world. but we will sell more gas turbines -- we have a 50% market share of the large gas turbine market. we will sell more in algeria in the next three years than the united states. so what are we supposed to do? are we supposed to sit here and just say, oh, it's too hard? >> rose: and if you don't get the business somebody else will. >> somebody else is going to get it. we're down to the point after 130 years that basically we're the only american company left and most of the businesses -- love us or hate us, we're the only american left. so i think you would be better off as an american citizen wanting g.e. to be able to go to every corner of the world toe to toe compete hard then sitting here and losing market share in the places in the world that are growing. i can tell you with great certainty it is 100 times harder to get an order in angola than it is in chicago. i wish all our customers were in chicago, i really -- >> rose: (laughs) >> it would be infinitely easier. but the places where our customers are are the places and you don't do that unless you create jobs in other places at the same time. but i'm here to tell you, we're a big exporter, we'll always big a big exporter. we're a net exporter to some of the toughest places in the world and we're a good competitive american company. >> rose: like america's changing china is change. the growth rate has gone from double digits to right around 8%. they may be being stabilized now as we speak. what does that mean for china? and what does it mean for the united states? and should it change the expectations? >> i think it's good for china, actually. to a certain extent, charlie, 11%, 12% is unsustainable. you end up getting too much stimulus or you get a misallocation of resources. they're much better off working on more of a consumer-based economy less dependent on exports, driving technology and innovation harder. really the one thing that works -- state-run communism may not be your cup of tea but their government works, you know? newspaper they get things done. >> they have five-year plans. i always tell our team "read the five-year plan" which is the segment we're in. typically what they're doing makes sense in the chinese context, that's what they're doing now. the new president comes in now, mr. xi comes in, he has an agenda, they're driving environment, company reform, more consumerism, that's the right thing. for the u.s. i don't think that's a bad thing. i think we needs a relationship -- we need a strong bilateral relationship with china, we do. but if you sit back as an american business guy and say basically you're going on zero percent growth for a long time. japan has had zero percent growth for twenty years. the u.s., you're sitting at 1.5% maybe 2% g.d.p. growth. if you're not willing to get off your butt and go to every corner of the world you're going to get fired so we have to sell all over the place and china is valuable not just for china but it pulls along brazil. >> rose: then there's africa. >> i like africa. >> rose: why? >> there's eight or nine count these have an immense amount of natural resources. they must find a way to turn that into productive economies and that's starting. some of the biggest dmez have grown the last five years are in africa. so nigeria has 180 billion people. they're number six in oil, number seven in gas. they lack 40 gigawatts of power. so they have supply, they have demand of everything g.e. sells. in between it's a mess, right? in between there's a thousand things going on, nigeria. but those rethe kind of places, really, if you won't sell stuff in place for a while you better be in places like nigeria that can buy your products, have the money and you just have to drive it hard. >> rose: and the growth rate there may offer more potential than the growth rate in china. >> and i think to a certain extent -- >> rose: because the bases are so low. >> bases are low, growth rates are higher and when i go to africa there's no local competition. i'm competing with siemens and not china south rail. so i've got a different competitive mix. so we've always wanted to be big and competitive in china but our top priorities have been the resource rich countries of middle east africa, australia, canada, africa. >> rose: do you worry about how aggressive the government of china is in going to those places? >> sure. that's what i try to convey here. i try to convey when i'm in washington, look, globally we're not playing tiddlywinks here. >> rose: (laughs) >> these are tough competitors. we don't need the u.s. government to do what the government of china does. we don't. we just need the state department to have eyes open, to open up doors for caterpillar and g.e. not pick winners and losers but at the end of the day -- look, i like my chances in africa against all comers. they like the united states, they like the way we do things. we train people, we invest in countries. i like that. >> rose: on the question of what the u.s. government should do, is there anything that this government should do-- or any government, whether it's the obama administration or some future administration-- ought to do in terms of u.s. companies being more competitive internationally or? or do you want them to stand out of the way snrjts look, i think they can be -- i don't think we need the same levels of investment support that even germany and japan have. but the fact that secretary clinton has been very pro business, that the state department opens up doors, that the president publicly says i want to double exports, that the u.s. is very aggressive in trying to do that, i think attitude helps us all. it's really a -- you know, when chancellor merkel flies from berlin to beijing, 20 c.e.o.s get off right behind her and they've got their hands out, right? and they're saying "give me more business." and we don't need to do it exactly that way but we need the administration, every administration, to be out there selling with us as we go around the world. look, for every job that we have in export there is's another eight in the supply chain. every small and medium supplier benefits as we go sell. >> rose: you mentioned the president. you have developed -- how would you characterize the relationship? you're on the jobs and you're on the debt commission, he clearly respects you. what's the relationship? >> i think strong -- very strong mutual respect. phenomenon a way that we can communicate and things like that. so i say deep personal respect. >> rose: and if he would call you up and say "i need you for my second term"? >> i'd say i've had the honor of serving you already, mr. president, and it's a good time to -- >> rose: but it's hard to turn the president down. >> i think he's going to have a very deem bench and my strong commitment is to g.e. >> rose: you're going to evade the question. (laughs) >> exactly. (laughs) exactly. >> rose: but your sense of him -- some people speculate that you were disappointed in the way he handled the economy. >> here's what i would say. i think he became president at a very tough time, right? 2008. and i would say it was at a time when business wasn't at its peak right? it was a time when business was highly disliked, coming out of the financial crisis. >> rose: both wall street and -- >> everybody really. i just think we all got painted with whatever brush was out there. >> rose: but was he part of that in a sense? >> he inherited it when he came in. i think, you know -- and i think we have to take 50% of the blame in responsibility in that i think business guys would have liked to have seen maybe different priorities at times. >> rose: like what? you're on the round table, too. >> working harder on the regulatory front. some thingser have very us is health care. but i sit here and say, look, came in at a tough time, a time when business was viewed as part of the problem, not part of the solution. we've gotten to where we are today. i think business deserves its share of the blame and when i worked with him on the jobs council, i think on specifics he was fantastic and was a great listener, was highly engaged with the work the jobs council did. took actions on the recommendations we put forward and, you know, that's more or less what i judge. i really think, charlie, you know, there are plenty of people that are mean to c.e.o.s. you know, in other words we don't need to be patted on the head like "good boy, i really like you" and stuff like that. that's not really -- in the end we like growth and competitiveness and we like people that help us work on growth and competitiveness. >> rose: and this president helps you work on growth and competitiveness? >> and i think in a second term we can do a lot. >> rose: what is your hope for the second term? and first before we go there let's go to the fiscal cliff. what do you think ought to come out of an agreement between the president and john boehner? >> i make a couple comments. the first one is we've got to get this done now. not -- you know, there are people that will write or go on news shows and say we can let it lapse two weeks or something like that. that is specifically not true. we need this to get resolved now. not because jim mcinernie will say it. but because the people who work for us, their lives are in flux. and this is encredibly critical we get it done now. we need revenue. everybody knows we need rev. >> rose: so the president is right in asking for more revenue and not extending the bush tax cuts for $250,000? >> bowles simpson, there's not been one commission that says we can do this on spending cuts. i think speaker boehner is the only guy that can lead us in that. >> rose: he's got to take the republican house of representatives -- >> he's got to take the deal and i trust he can do it. >> rose: you're urging him to do it? to take the deal and allow increase in the rates -- >> we're trying to get them to do a market credible deal in his own way. i don't think we want to negotiate for him. i think that helps the president. really what i would say is we trust speaker boehner to do it and he shouldn't spend one minute using political capital to keep my rates low. in other words -- but i trust him. he's a good guy and he can get this done. >> rose: and you trust the president. >> i trust as well. he's been extremely focused and clear that he thinks we need entitlement reform and we need to get on it in a meaningful way. so you've got two guys that have to negotiate things that are both hard for their bases and they have to do it more or less in realtime and they have to do it now. what i say, charlie, coming out of this in the future is we need tax reform. you know if the forecasts of the c.b.o. is that the economy grows 3.5% for the next ten or 15 years, today we're growing 1.5%. >> rose: exactly. >> if that 3.5% is 2.5%, we still have a $4 trillion problem. >> rose: over ten years. >> over ten years. so we need to be working on things to drive growth and competitiveness as time goes on. >>. >> rose: and what is it that drives growth and competitiveness? >> i think simplification of corporate tax reform. >> rose: right. >> i think really looking at regulatory structures, educational structures, things like that. >> rose: but that costs money. >> i needs to be revisited. the look, i think we've got to get kind of the $4 trillion thing behind us and then -- but it's not like the government shouldn't invest in anything one of the things that has come out of every jobs council i've been a part of that is almost universal until the b.r.t. is that that this country needs to invest in infrastructure. this is something that the president and the b.r.t., jobs councils, all agree but it runs into problems because what's -- the funding structure going to be? how do we pay for it and things like that? >> rose: that's the potential for growth and growth is the essential thing. build the infrastructure, build the education. >> anybody doesn't that doesn't think once we do this four trillion dollar down payment that growth isn't the most important thing is crazy. so that's what we have to be looking at for broader tax reform. >> rose: and simpson-bowles is a good guideline? >> i think simpson-bowles is a great starting point. like i said, you've got two guys who have to make this happen and we should do whatever we can to make their jobs more straightforward. >> rose: for whose who say we can go over the fiscal cliff and it might not be such a bad thing, you say in >> i think that say they're people that don't have anybody that works for them we haven't been on this for two weeks or two days or two months. we've been work thong for two and a half years. what happened in july of 2011 was ugly. i read stories now that say the president lost or he shouldn't have done this or speaker boehner done that. they both failed. nobody won on that moment in time. it made us -- it hurt us inside the country, it hurt us outside the country. so i would say if this goes into next year we ought to consider that failure. we ought to get these guys to do a deal that they know they can do and we have to get them do it now. this is not just jeff immelt speaking, the business community almost universally speaks with one voice and that needs to get done now and moving it to next year is failure. >> rose: i don't know of any c.e.o. who knows more about the world because of how much you travel and how many countries you have business in. what's the impression of the united states in those countries? because you immediate with the leaders of these countries as well as their establishment. what are they saying about us? clearly they're saying get your financial house in order. >> so i think the first thing is they like president obama. they just do. he is a beloved figure in almost every corner of the world. i would start with that. and secretary clinton they are highly respected, highly admired in every corner of the world and that helps. there's nothing wrong with that. number two, i would say american entrepreneurship and capitalism is still the model that people want. the third thing i'd say is the politics in the u.s. as seen from afar are ugly, are brutally ugly. and -- >> rose: they wonder why america can't deal with its problems and has gridlock in washington? >> i think people look at that and say this is a country that's so admired. why can't we do -- why can't people just compromise and get along and things like that. i would go beyond that to say the dollar is the reserve currency. every american benefits from that. every american. 300 million plus of us all benefit from the fact that we're the reserve currency. now, you know yoshgs default on your debt or you lose your debt ratings a few times, that's not going to be the case. and you lose that in a minute. that isn't something that erodes over a decade. so we can't take that for granted. that is an important aspect. >> rose: what do you think they want us to do in terms of the exercise of american power? >> you know, geopolitics in military -- there are other people that you're going to interview that are smarter about that than i am. but let me make a point on job creation and economics. i want on a mission with senator mccain and senator kerry in tunisia and egypt in the summer of 2011. they need jobs. russia needs jobs. china needs jobs. brazil needs jobs. >> rose: america needs jobs. >> vietnam needs jobs. america needs jobs. that is the currency of power today is innovation, is economics: and i say this, there's a ton of people that disagree. anybody no matter where you are, china any place else, you root for a weak america at your own peril. we are the biggest market. i don't think people root against our market so american power gets elevated when our economy does better. when we're creating our own jobs. when we're self-confident again. so that brings me back to, you know, the president's second term. this is an incredibly smart, tough-minded good leader. i think people, maybe even c.e.o.s like me way underestimated this guy. but in the second term i think we all need to work together to drive competitiveness and economic growth that i think that will help our geopolitics, it will help the mood of the nation and i think the president recognizes that. i hope he does, i think he does. >> rose: let me nail that down. you seem to be saying this is a smart guy, this is a guy that's admired around the world. this is a guy that was dealt a bad hand with the economy and this is a guy going into the second term and therefore you say to your business leaders around -- part of the round table and other important business institutions, you're saying how do we figure out how to support this guy in terms of supporting america? that's your message? >> i think that's the way we all feel. >> rose: and don't be so down on him -- >> the day after election i still have 300,000 people working for me the next day. so you have to get up and say hey, let's go. business guys have short memories and it's what happens next is much more important than what's happened last and we all believe that. my experience with the president is look -- let's take financial services. i personally think that nobody in the world copies our regulators anymore in this country. nobody, because they view them as being complicated, overlapping and things like that. >> rose: nobody around the world designing their regulatory for chair company looks to america as their model. >> so i come to the president and say, look, we need to reform the e.p.a. he's going to disagree with that. but when we came to the jobs council and said here's 30 and 35035 big infrastructure projects that if we can move the psychle from seven years to one year we can create jobs. he approved them all and made them happen. we have to look for small victorys that don't take on these deep philosophical divides and makes the country more competitive. and i think in that regard the president is an exceptional problem solver in dealing with specifics. we made 60 recommendations on the job council that required executive order, we did 54. we made 30 recommendations on things that took legislation, we did four. okay? >> rose: but the comment is heard occasionally the president believes that government ought to do the job rather than the private sector and you're here saying that the president is not of that persuasion? that wants the private sector to do what he can? >> i think the president knows that the private sector has a -- if you want to try growth and competitiveness, if that's the problem you're trying to solve, unfortunately -- you may not like us today but you have to work with us. i think the president recognizes that. i just think the point is if you make a frontal assault and it doesn't matter -- you can take on anybody on stuff that people philosophically believe in, they're not going to say yes on day one. but that doesn't mean we should -- there are dozens of things we can and should engage in where the president will engage. and, by the way, charlie, at the end of the day what you want me doing is selling jet engines. we're having a nice dialogue, but this is not the way i want to spend time and not the way you want me to spend my time. >> rose: indeed. let me me go to your tenure at the company for a few minutes. there's no longer nbc. there's no longer insurance. there's no longer plastics. there is a g.e. capital that is much -- give me a sense of what you felt like you had to change and why in the last ten years. >> i'd say the world of competitiveness always changes and the world of opportunity also changes. so in the case of businesses like insurance, i didn't think we were very good. i remember the 9/11 tragedy and we took a billion dollar write in our insurance business and i was going through this incredible time and for the writeoff we took premiums of like $7 million. and i was like note to self, get out of insurance. >> rose: (laughs) the math didn't work. >> so i think each disposition we just felt like that competitiveness nature changed and then we took that capital and when i was -- first became c.e.o. our oil and gas business was a $500 million business. now it's a $15 or $16 million business. our aviation business doubled in size. health care business is bigger. so we redeploy and get ourselves into businesses we think are better for where the future is going to go. >> rose: g.e. capital. do you take some of the blame for how significant g.e. happenal has become? >> sure. the mistake i made was i let it become too big. our writeoffs -- now you have to benefit of looking back five years. we didn't do exotic bus the mistake i made is we let it get too big in terms of the relative size and the prospect of the company. >> rose: what are the lessons to be learned from the subprime crisis and the economic crisis this country had to go through? >> listen harder. listen and just be more -- i'd say -- i'd make two comments, charlie. the first is a macro comment. brazil is a great place. the c.e.o.s in brazil are my friends, they're quite good. if you ask a c.e.o. of brazil how did you become so good he'd say because i was c.e.o. from 1990 to 1995, inflation was like 100% a day, i used to bring cash to the bank in a gym bag and i became better because of those years. >> rose: you learn lessons in hard times. >> so you may not like us but your c.e.o.s were better than they were in 2007 and 2008. number one. number two, humility ask better questions and listen harder. in retrospect if you look at the amount of leverage we added to the american system between the 1990s and 2000, the fact that we had a -- the global economy is $60 trillion, the market for credit default swaps was $65 trillion, unregulated, probably not the right way to go. we just -- as a system of which g.e. was a part we just didn't ask tough enough questions and we didn't push hard enough. and you know what? in financial services do i like everything that's happened from a financial standpoint? no, but we should keep our mouth shut and that's where we are. >> rose: fair enough. i hear you, you deserved it because you let things get out of hand because there was no regulation or regulation that was there one enforced. but you're dissatisfied with dodd-frank? u.s. economy. it's below 2%. smart people say to me -- >> i think there's all kinds of theories. i sit back and say what are the fundamentals are demographics, productivity, innovation, energy. so we need to let the population grow. we need immigration reform. we need to capture energy. that might be worth the point of g.d.p. we need to have an entrepreneurial structure that's not impaired by regulations and things like that. i think if you do those things you'll get growth back to 3.5% and the arithmetic doesn't work at 2% g.d.p. growth. none of this arithmetic works. we can put speaker boehner and the president in a dungeon for a year, they're not going to solve it at 2% -- >> rose: if g.d.p. is 2%. >> completely. >> rose: stock price. what was the stock price when you took over? >> in the high 30s. >> rose: it's now what? >> about 21 bucks. >> rose: what do you attribute that to? >> the p.e. has gone from a 50 plus p.e. to a 12. >> rose: why? >> i think, charlie, the financial service industry probably -- our g.e. capital probably had a market cap in and of itself that was $20 a share, $15 to $20 a share. so in general all p.e.s have come down and if you've been in financial services over the last decade you have gotten hammered and i think those two things have done as much to contribute -- look, we are -- have expanded earnings in a very good trajectory out of the crisis, 2013, 2012 will probably be the fourth-best year in the company's history. 2013 will be better. so it's never been -- >> rose: then the market doesn't get the future of g.e.? >> look, i just think -- >> rose: they've assigned you a pe that's real or unreal? >> we are in a p.e. that probably trades at a premium to our peers. right? so sometimes you trade at a 50, sometimes you trade at a 12. i wish i could control -- i -- 50 was more fun. >> rose: (laughs) >> but 12 is where we are. 12 is where we are today. (laughs) so that's -- in the end the best thing doing for g.e. investors is grow earnings and cash flow, which we've done, distribute cash. our dividends have been good and growing again and these things get sorted out as time goes on. >> rose: because of the world that i know why did you sell nbc >> i just -- we ran out of good ideas. we're an operating company, not a holding company. when i go to an oil and gas review i have a thousand ideas. when i see our health care business i have 1500 good ideas. at the end of nbc i would say "make better shows and buy more cable." which wasn't good. i didn't have 523 good ideas, i had two. so i think you have to be self-reflective and i haven't regretted it a minute. i have tremendous respect and love and admiration for people in the business. >> rose: it wasn't your management but the nature of the business? or was it your management? >> i think -- we did "harry potter," we did the olympics, we did the n.f.l., we did cable. all those things for investment we made. >> rose: this had a good ride for you. you love the job. the hardest thing i assume was the dividend announcement and not meeting expectations for a quarter. how -- what do you wake up and say when you know you have to make that call? >> i'd say cutting the g.e. dividend was the worst day of my life. i just hated myself. i was -- i felt like i had let so many people down. i said i wouldn't do it. i was so incredibly disappointed in myself. i'll never forget it, charlie, as long as i live, but it was what i had to do for the company that n that moment in time. the strength will to get up the next day and to face your tame with a smile on your face, quiet confidence and go forward, that's why we have these jobs. in the good days they're not that hard to manage. i've got a ton of good people that work for me that could run g.e. in the good days. it's the bad days where you need somebody to step up and take the heat and it's seared in my soul and investors should know that i will work my butt off for the rest of my life in -- really i think you can make people -- you know, if you don't make the tough decision at the right time you're going to lose your company but if you make it and persevere, people loo l like you -- >> rose: maybe not that day but someday. >> you're going to have one day -- if you do these jobs a long time you'll have one or two days where everybody hates you. >> rose: do you want to do this for a long time? >> i have a high motor for it. i love the company. i'm completely committed. there will be a right time to leave. the board and i talk about that. but for now i have a pagts for the job and i love the company. >> rose: we've talked about chinese leaders who look -- leader after leader, they set in the motion. have you done that at g.e.? >> yeah, for sure. >> rose: you know who your heir might be? >> we have a list of folks. if something happened to me we know who would be the leader. we know leader when you luke look out three, five, ten years, who's around. we have a great bench. we're a company where nobody's name is above the door. this is a company where the company comes first. everybody that walks through the door at g.e. knows 24 hours a day seven days a week for as long as you work here the company comes first. >> rose: what's the most important lesson you have learned that you might to go back to the harvard business school and say in the last ten years i came to a job and i came at a perilous moment to the nation's psyche and i look now in 2011, we've got financial challenges but it's a remarkable country. this is what i want to teach you that i have one last opportunity to talk to future business leaders about what it means to be a business leader in 2013. >> i think it's humility and the curiosity that comes with it. in other words, the big mistakes you make is when you stop asking questioning but if you're hungry and humble and you're always digging for that extra piece of knowledge that's how the world works. >> rose: and where do you find that? how do you go about making sure you are reremember inishing at every moment your own awareness. not just with knowledge -- >> travel constantly. see people constantly. work retail. charlie, look -- >> rose: work retail. >> i see you occasionally at the microsoft conference or stuff like that. i'm there to learn. i'm there to work retail. i've now done this 11 years. i've been in every c.e.o.s' office. i'm on the road 60% of the time. i don't go to a lot of conferences i do retail and i work it hard. i think you have to have your mind open. you have to be curious. you have to be getting input from 22-year-olds as well as 62-year-olds. and you have to have a high motor for all of that and you have to be -- you can't sit back and say gosh these real estate values are awfully high. i hope nothing bad happens. (laughter) or, you know, nervous laughter is a bad strategy and i think the more humble you can be and the more curious you can be, those are the traits of exexceptionally successful. >> rose: is there skill you wish you'd had that you had to learn to acquire? >> one thing c.e.o.s never know when they get the job is just context. it's how you fit with the world and that's something you can only learn the hard way and it's hard to teach. when i became c.e.o. of g.e. i knew how to run a company and businesses. i was a pretty good business guy. but it's not until you're alone that you understand how your company fits with the world. that's a continuous process and you go through these economic times that you've had the last decade and it's just -- i think the difference so few things you wake up one morning and fukushima disaster has taken place, right? now the night before i went to bed i wasn't thinking about japan. i wasn't thinking about nuclear power. now it's all consuming. it seems like we're in a period of time that's volatile from a geopolitical standpoint. volatile from an environment, nature standpoint. you better be a business leader that's fast on your feet or else you won't do very well. >> rose: when i talk to political leaders especially and i say what have you learned? they say it's relationships. relationships in the end make a huge difference. it's trust, you see it at -- on the part of presidents, you see in the terms of people i've talked to, been secretary of state, secretary of defense. bill gates, a very good secretary of defense, -- bob gates said to me you need quickly to cultivate and devote time to relationships because you realize you're in this together. >> completely agree. and i would say if anything the pendulum is coming back hardener that direction. >> rose: meaning what? >> meaning coming out of the crisis. i think there's less trust in general. >> rose: it's part of the job in washington. so you value relationship very much and so there are hundreds of c.e.o.s that i know who i can pick up the phone and they trust g.e. and they trust g.e. because they know me or my team and i think that's immensely valuable and i think in the end it's important that business leaders and politicians have a better sense of trust than maybe what we've had over the last five years and, again, those things never work unless you assume you're 50% of the problem. that's what you've got to -- >> rose: assume you're 50% of the problem? in other words -- >> i'm not blameless. >> there's two kinds of advice you can give. this is what i try to do. one is here's what under do and the other is here's what i would do if i were you. >> rose: (laughs) >> turns out the later is a hundred times more valuable than the form every. >> rose: you say to him "here's what i would do if i was you" because he knows you are giving it the most crucial analysis because it affects you directly. >> and people are never going to believe this, charlie. but believe it or not the 25 people that worked on the job council weren't there selling for business, they were there legitimately trying to help the country. and it is possible to be global c.e.o. and still love your country and i can thank that paradox. it's not always easy but i can manage that paradox. >> rose: you're glad you took those jobs? >> i really am. i'm not saying that it was easy but i really like the people on the council. i met -- we had a number of small business people, a woman named darlene miller, i love knees guys. i thought they were awesome. i got to know paul and ellen. you know, we're not going to be -- have a dinner together every night. but -- >> rose: but you can understand where he comes from. >> for where rich coming from and who his constituents are. so i think that was very valuable and like i said i think at a tough time we're able to make a small difference and that's where we're trying to do. >> rose: we're all in the same boat. >> yeah. >> rose: jeff immelt, c.e.o. of general electric. thank you for joining us. see you next time. rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org >> this is nbr. captioning sponsored by wpbt >> susie: i'm susie gharib. a key democrat talks about medicare cuts that could be part of a fiscal cliff deal. we talk with maryland congressman chris van hollen. >> tom: i'm tom hudson. two hurricanes in two years for the northeast-- a region not used to big storms comes to terms with the cleanup and cost. >> susie: and it's green monday, one of the most popular days for online shoppers. we've got details.
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Dec 10, 2012 6:00pm PST
explores the tax deductions that could be on the chopping block in the quest to bring down the deficit. >> we estimate $1.1 trillion a year in revenue the government gives up because of all the tax breaks. that's enough to solve the revenue problem but it's not going to happen. >> ifill: ray suarez has a newsmaker interview with secretary of homeland security janet napolitano. >> you can discuss border security and immigration reform simultaneously now. we don't have to this kind of first this and then that. at this point they actually go together. >> woodruff: special correspondent rick karr reports on the polluted waters that spilled into new york homes and businesses in superstorm sandy, raising health concerns. >> everybody sort of got sick at the same time. all of us sort of attributed it to, well, we're all stressed out. it's very cold. but that said, there is a lot of nasty stuff hanging about. >> ifill: and hari sreenivasan has an update on the dangerous working conditions in bangladesh, where more than 100 workers have died over the past month. that's all ahead on tonight's newshour. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us. and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century. and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: president obama made another foray outside washington today, trying to build public support for a fiscal cliff agreement. it came a day after he resumed talking with the top house republican, and as a year-end deadline moved even closer. the president took his public campaign for a deficit deal on his terms to the daimler diesel plant in redford michigan. >> if congress doesn't act soon meaning in the next few weeks, starting on january 1, everybody is going to see their income taxes go up. it's true. y'all don't like that? >> no! woodruff: instead, mr. obama again pressed for raising tax rates on the top two percent of incomes. >> and that's a principle i won't compromise on because i'm not going to have a situation where the wealthiest among us, including folks like me, get to keep all our tax breaks and then we're asking students to pay higher student loans. >> woodruff: his michigan visit came a day after the president and house speaker john boehner met privately at the white house. their first one-on-one session since the election. neither side gave any details about what was discussed. instead they issued identical statements saying that lines of communication remain open. at the same time the sunday talk shows highlighted a partial split in g.o.p. ranks over letting the president have higher tax rates on top earners. tennessee senator bob corker told fox news sunday that republicans should give ground on taxes and concentrate on long-term spending cuts. >> the focus then shifts to entitlements. maybe that puts us in a place where we actually can do something that really saves this nation. so there is a growing body -- i actually am beginning to believe that is the best route for us to take. >> woodruff: but on nbc, house majority whip kevin mccarthy countered that that approach is the wrong way to go. >> it doesn't solve the problem. the president is asking for higher rates, he's asking for more revenue. most economists agree the best way to get that is through closing special loopholes. when you close those it makes a fair tax process. >> woodruff: a new poll from politico and george washington university backed the president's position. 60% favored raising taxes on households earning more than $250,000 a year. 38% were opposed. another survey last week found that by a 2-to-1 margin, americans would blame republicans if there's no agreement by the end of the year. for more on the political dynamics at play and what might be in the deal taking shape, we are joined by lori montgomery, a reporter for the "washington post." she covers economic policy and the federal budget. welcome back to the program. >> thanks for having me. woodruff: let me come at this from a different direction. is there anything the two sides agree on? >> well, they both finally agree that we need to raise some tax revenue. but they don't agree on how we should do that. that is the fundamental sticking point. the president wants to raise rates on rich people. john boehner and house republicans have drawn a bright line in the sand that they will not raise rates. they'll give him revenue but not by higher rates. >> woodruff: and we learned that a week ago. that was when the republicans came out and they met at the white house yesterday, the president and the speaker. what came out of that meeting? >> neither side is really telling us what happened but by all accounts on both sides the meeting was very cordial. but there were no breakthroughs. there was no give from speaker boehner on the rate question, which according to democrats in the white house is the first hurdle you have to clear. there are unwilling to discuss how we're going to tackle the entitlement problem until republicans very specifically agree that rates are going to go up. >> woodruff: each side still saying, lori, that the other side has to give. >> that's right. woodruff: and so right now what is the pressure on the speaker? i mean he has to worry about being re-elected speaker in january. what is he hearing from his ranks? >> well, people are all over the map. it's sort of hard to tell what he could marshal the votes for. i think that's one of the problems they're facing. when you hear people like corker, you know, there's echos of what his... his point on the house side as well that people are saying go ahead and give him the rates and let's toss this into next year when we have a debt ceiling coming up and we'll have pressure to get the spending cuts we want. other people say no way i won't vote for rates under in any circumstances. it's all over the map and lawmakers don't have a lot of information about the state of these negotiations. >> woodruff: at this point are the staffs even talking to each other? >> the staffs we are told are continuing to talk. but they don't have much time. if they want to do a big bipartisan deal that has all these moving parts in it, they need to start selling it to lawmakers by the end of this week. >> woodruff: what are they saying in these meetings? they're talking about neither side... i mean, there must be... is there any scenario presenting or... what do you hear? >> that's an excellent yes. i wish i could answer it for you. but what we are told is that, you know, i mean, they've got a numbers problem to solve too. boehner offered $800 billion over ten years. the white house wants $1.6 trillion. they have to meet on the numbers somewhere. at this point boehner's office is saying they have refused even to agree to a higher number. >> woodruff: finally, one is hearing some talk that one or the other side may feel it's better to wait until after january 1. >> well i think people are both sides are start of gaming out what happens if we to january. democrats feel that, you know, at that point everything becomes a tax cut because taxes are already up. so we'll be cutting taxes. and republicans maybe feel that, you know, you could see where that might be a good thing for them too. there are big pressures bushing against... pushing against that too. this is a congress that has been fighting over these issues for two years. corker has made this point as well. if we can't do it, we've been over all these issues. now is the time. there's going to be a new congress in january. you have to educate all these new people coming in. in addition to the economy, there are incentives to get it done now. >> woodruff: we'll let you go back to watching it. lori montgomery of the "washington post," thank you. >> thank you. >> ifill: still to come on the newshour, the right-to-work battle in michigan; tax breaks on the chopping block; homeland security secretary janet napolitano; toxic chemicals in sandy's storm surge; and factory workers at risk around the world. but first, with the other news of the day, here's hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: egyptian president mohammed morsi called out the military today, ahead of next weekend's referendum on a new constitution. opposition forces say the document will enshrine the power of islamists and curb human rights. security forces were deployed today near the presidential palace where protesters remain camped out. they said it's not enough that morsi rescinded decrees that granted him near-absolute power. e new constitutional declaration canceled the first one but statement it contained the same statement as the previous one. he is playing with us and trying to gain time until the referendum. we understand that. nothing changes our position because we know he hasn't changed anything. >> sreenivasan: the anti-morsi faction has organized a new round of mass protests tomorrow. meanwhile, morsi's islamist supporters are planning a rival demonstration of their own. the president of venezuela, hugo chavez, flew to cuba today for his third cancer operation in the last year and a half. chavez was greeted by president raul castro upon his arrival in havana. chavez is scheduled to be sworn in to a new six-year term, one month from now. meanwhile, former south african president nelson mandela underwent new medical testing in johannesburg. he was hospitalized saturday for an undisclosed ailment. mandela is 94 years old. britain will become the first country to try to map the genetic code of thousands of cancer patients. the government said today it is setting aside $160 million for the project, over three to five years. we have a report from lawrence mcginty of independent television news. >> reporter: after treatment this woman told me she's now fine. genetic tests show she has a gene called backer which means the cancer would almost certainly come back. she decided to have her ovaries and breasts removed to stop it returning. genetic testing had saved her life. the prime minister was today banging the drum for even more genetic testing that will analyze all the genes of 100,000 cancer patients like francis to build up a d.n.a. database. scientists first decoded the three billion bits of d.n.a. in the human genome 12 years ago making it possible to tailor drugs for individual patients. >> we have to say to the lady in front of us in the clinic we know from the bar code in your cancer that you will respond to this treatment but not to this treatment. thavery important. we have treatments that work for some of our patients but we need to have tests that really can choose the right treatment for the right person at the right time. >> reporter: but it's not just tailoring drugs for individual patients. researchers will be able to use the d.n.a. database to look for new cancer genes. finding them should allow sign tiffs to develop new treatment. >> sreenivasan: the project has raised privacy concerns, but prime minister cameron's office said participation is voluntary, and the data will be made anonymous before it is stored. parts of the upper midwest in the united states are digging out after a slow-moving winter storm dropped up to 14 inches of snow over the weekend. in minnesota and wisconsin, roads were a mess on sunday as drivers braved ice, snow drifts and low visibility. by this morning, the minnesota state patrol reported more than 600 crashes, with at least one fatality. trading was light on wall street today. the dow jones industrial average gained 14 points to close near 13,170. the nasdaq rose almost nine points to close just short of 2987. the former head of the international monetary fund, dominique strauss-kahn, has settled a sexual abuse lawsuit, for an undisclosed amount. a state court judge in new york announced the agreement today between strauss-kahn and a hotel maid. she had accused him of assaulting her last year. strauss-kahn said it was consensual, but the incident sparked other allegations and ended his hopes of running for president of france. authorities in mexico and the u.s. confirmed today that singer jenni rivera was killed sunday in a plane crash. she and six others were on a private jet that went down south of monterrey in northern mexico. the cause of the crash is under investigation. rivera was one of the most popular female singers in the musical genre known as grupero. she sold more than 15 million albums and won a number of latin music awards. jenni rivera was 43 years old. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to gwen. >> ifill: michigan, home to the united auto workers and one of the most heavily unionized states in the country, is suddenly ground zero in the national debate over workers' rights, as the republican lawmakers who control the state's legislature prepare to cast a vote tomorrow that could permanently alter the political landscape. >> ifill: hundreds of people descended on the state capitol building in lansing last week to protest a move to make michigan a right-to-work state. republicans running the state house and senate have approved a pair of bills to allow workers to hold union jobs without joining the union. organized labor was furious. >> you will have people that will be working right ale long side of you that will not have to pay union dues but you pay union dues but will still be able to get all the benefits from being a union member. >> ifill: democrats in the legislature complained that republicans rammed through the bill with no hearings or public comments. >> this is a travesty. they're pushing this at the 11th hour because they know that the public doesn't want it. >> ifill: republicans argue a right-to-work law will make michigan more attractive to potential employers. >> it's about creating an environment where job providers and employers will want to come to michigan, create jobs here, better jobs, more jobs. >> we have hung out the open for business sign to the world. michigan has the best trained work force. now has options and opportunities for more people. >> ifill: republican governor rick snyder agrees the law will help the state. he has promised to sign it. snyder greeted president obama when he traveled to michigan today but there was no indication that they discussed the right-to-work issue. the president was later cheered when he visited an engine assembly plant outside detroit. >> these so-called right-to-work laws they don't have to do with economics. they have everything to do with politics. what they're really talking about is giving you the right to work for less money. >> ifill: 23 states have laws on the books banning the mandatory collection of union dues. in wisconsin republican governor scott walker turned aside a recall vote after he curtailed collective bargaining for public employees. voters later repealed an ohio law to reduce collective bargaining. michigan lawmakers are scheduled to vote on the right-to-work law tomorrow. union supporters planning for large-scale protests, cement the weekend in civil disobedience training. now, for more on the behind-the- scenes debate over right to work, we're joined by michigan congressman sander levin, a democrat. he met today with governor snyder and with the president. and republican state senator john prose, who is one of the sponsors of right-to-work legislation. representative levin, i want to start with you because you met with two of the key people who who have been debating this today, governor snyder, president obama. what were you there to say? >> to say this is a very divisive effort. michigan is already open for business. we added 30,000 auto jobs since the recession began. already we're growing. this would terribly disrupt the pattern of labor-management relations that has really evolved very effectively for the last decade-and-a-half. it's deeply divisive. secondly i want the record to be very clear. there is no requirement today that people pay union dues or belong to a union. what the law says is this. if a majority of employees vote to be represented, if they decide to do that and if the employer decides to agree that there can be a requirement that people pay their fair share for representation. that can be done. it should be emphasized under the federal law and the state law where a majority decides to be represented, the representative must, must represent everybody regardless of whether or not they're a union member. there can be no distinction. i talked to someone today at detroit diesel. he said this. he went down to the plant in north carolina. there was on a t-shirt, it said, "i ride. you pay." essentially people want to be free-riders and not be responsible and pay a fair share of the cost of representation. after a democratic election. that's what this is all about. >> ifill: let me talk to state senator prose about that. how do you respond to this idea that there's no need for a law like this? >> i think when you look at the issue of right to work or freedom to work you really have to ask the question whether or not that individual is buying into a system that they care to be a part of, that they really choose to be a part of. do they have the ability to do so or are they coerced into doing so in the process? frankly when you look at the issues surrounding this particular question, you cannot operate in a vacuum. you have to recognize the fact that states like indiana, that border our state of michigan, is the 23rd state. michigan would be the 24th state. this isn't a new discussion nationwide. 24 states in the next couple of days will be the right-to-work states that will put us in a better position for worker freedom where they have the chance to actually choose to participate without it being compelled to do so. >> let me just say... ifill: go ahead, congressman. let me say in terms of brand new. look, there has been no airing of this issue in michigan. >> i disagree completely congressman. >> let me finish. ifill: gentlemen, one at a time. i'll give you your opportunity to respond. >> let me finish. what happened was this. there was an election. this is a lame-duck session. it was decided, well, because of the election, maybe you can't get it through next year so push it through. there are no hearings ever been held on this in the state of michigan. we've had a pattern ofy fek live labor-management relations for many many years. now you're going to set people against each other. there's no coercion here. nobody has to join a union or pay dues. they have to pay a fair share of representation that must include... >> thanks, gwen, i would like to respond. >> ifill: i want to respond and i also want you to answer this question for me. why now? why are. >> we had significant debate in the senate and in the house of representatives. over 20 amendments that were debated and discussed. all of them were defeated in the process but the reality is that workers today are in a competitive environment. there's no question about that. we exist in a competitive environment both nationally and internationally. it's up to each of the states to put themselves in the very best position to grow jobs and to grow the economy and to allow our michigan businesses to compete to keep, grow and bring in new jobs. this border between indiana and michigan with indiana now being right to work is a great concern to me. i think it's at great concern to those of us in the legislature who say let's give those workers the freedom to choose if they want to participate. no difference than if they choose to go to a particular restaurant or choose a particular plumber or choose to have somebody that is giving them good value and good benefits for the pay that they give that individual or in this case that private organization. >> ifill: i would like either of you to cite for me a specific example, in your case congressman levin, in your case state senator prose where the right to work either depress the economy or help the economy in any other state and would specifically in michigan. starting with you, congressman. >> they clearly depress wages. look, we can compete in michigan. we don't have to compete with the lowest common detom naturor. we're doing much better. we're doing much better because people have a voice in the workplace. what the state senator is doing in essence is to snuff out the voice in the workplace to destroy collective bargaining that made the middle class of michigan and this country. that's what this is really all about. >> ifill: state senator prose, you mentioned indiana repeatedly. give me a specific example of how indiana's economy has been improved. >> you bet. i think there are two very specific examples that we can point to. first off on more of a global perspective we have 12.5% increase according to the bureau of labor statistics, a reputable organization that we all point to, to determine our specific statistics t12.5% increase both in wages as well as in jobs. we've only seen a 3.1% increase in those states that are not right to work. the right to work states have seen good benefits. let me point very specifically to a company in fort wayne indiana bringing 66 high-tech jobs to fort wayne. android industries could go any place in the world. they chose fort wayne specifically they noted because it in fact is a right to work state. that's the kind of competition that we need. worker freedom gives that opportunity for that in the state of michigan. >> let me finish. it's not a matter of worker freedom. look, the majority selected a representative who must represent everybody without discrimination. and the issue is whether there will be free riders. whether people who benefit from the representation have to pay a fair share. that's a good american idea. it's what has made the middle class of this country. we should not compete with the lowest common denominator. that's what this state senator and others are proposing. the governor said it wasn't on his agenda. all of a sudden they're cramming it through. it will be very destruct stiff, divisive for the state of michigan and beyond. >> ifill: but congressman the governor has said and probably said this to you today, i'm curious whether he did that union membership is declining in michigan so this wouldn't really affect that many people. >> that's such a fallacious argument. this is the reason. representation has lifted wages, benefits, and made sure people had health care. and security. you know, everybody has benefited; many who aren't union members. because we have lifted -- lifted the scale instead of it going downward. we need not to really appeal mainly to lowering and lowering the level of wages and benefits in this country. we need to uplift and essentially this would put michigan and others in a downward spiral, a frightfully bad mistake. >> ifill: state senator prose, you have the final word. >> i appreciate that. thank you, gwen. i appreciate discussing this topic. i think it's so very important to the citizens of michigan. it is really important when you look at the statistics. i appreciate congressman sander levin's concern. when you look at the bureau of labor statistics and a 12.5% increase in jobs and economic benefit. when you look at companies like android industries in indiana that are bringing new jobs to indiana simply because of right of work it's important that we give workers that freedom to choose what they think is best for them and their representation-instead of paying that private industry, that private union that is instead providing what is in some cases a sub par service. you ought to be buying a service that you believe in and you believe is going to represent you well. 17% of michigan are union folks today. 17% will be union tomorrow, gwen. >> ifill: state senator john prose, republican and representative sander levin, a democrat. thank you both very much. >> thanks very much. >> woodruff: now, back to the battle over the fiscal cliff. much of the debate has centered on the question of whether to raise tax rates on high income earners. but many experts are also raising questions as to whether major tax deductions should be limited or even eliminated entirely. the newshour's economics correspondent paul solman was in washington recently to examine the possible impact of such a change. it's part of his ongoing reporting, "making sense of financial news." reporter: at saint martin's catholic church last thursday, they queued up early for clothing and food. the church, like any nonprofit, relies on charitable donations. but limiting or even charitable deductions could be part of a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. one man of the tax policy center says given our national debt? sort of tax hikes are inevitable. >> one way is to tax the same income we have right now but get more revenue. the alternative is to tax more. get rid of the deductions and the exemptions, the things that reduce or taxable income. we tax more at today's rates and we bring in more revenue. >> reporter: itemized deductions are the first form of tax breaks on the table. used by 30% of tax payers they cost the government over $200 billion a year. about a fifth of this year's deficit. charitable donations alone cost $40 billion a year. but ending them is costly too. >> anybody who gives money away, taxes will go up. they'll pay more. that's what we're all about trying to get rid of these. but at the same time they'll likely give less to charity. if i don't get the deduction, it's going to cost me more after taxes to give away money. >> reporter: and say nonprofit leaders, if the rich stop giving, the poor stop getting. >> we're here to urge congress to protect a 100-year-old tradition. >> reporter: a tradition that hundreds on capitol hill last week were working to uphold. who doesn't want places like saint martin's to survive? >> the organizations that we classify as charitable -- churches, hospitals, universities -- those are all things we think are good. the government is encouraging contributions by giving the deduction. take it away your contribution and places like this will be worse off. >> reporter: the biggest tax deduction of all is also popular. the $84 billion a year mortgage interest deduction. >> if you're paying interest on your mortgage, you can deduct that, reduce your taxable income and therefore pay less to the i.r.s. >> reporter: does this deduction have a demonstrably fect on people's behavior, what they do when they're buying houses? >> it affects their behavior but in an odd way. it doesn't induce people to buy a house in the first place. it doesn't change their likelihood of buying. it induces them to pay more for a house or buy a bigger house. we're subsidizing big houses not homeownership. >> reporter: the amount you save depends on your marginal tax rate, the rate applied to money you earn once you reach your highest bracket. >> you save 5 cents for every dollar you duct in the 35%. if you're in the 15% tax bracket you only save had 15 cents. in terms of the home mortgage we're subsidizing rich people a lot more than we're subsidizing lower income people. >> reporter: some people misunderstand this and think when you're at the 35% bracket it means all your income is taxed at 35%. it's only income above a certain threshold, right. >> everybody walks through the bottom tax bracket. everybody pays 10% tax on the first $10 0urbgs-$15,000 income. at the very top you're paying 35% on that last piece of income. that's where the deducks come in. >> reporter: what's the argument against removing the mortgage interest deduction? >> there will be people who can no longer afford their mortgages. if they don't get the tax savings they don't have enough to cover the mortgage payments. secondly there will be an immediate drop in housing prices. people will not be willing to pay as much for housing. therefore prices will come down. every homeowner will suffer a capital loss. >> reporter: next stop, the wilson building which houses d.c.'s mayor and city council. next major tax break, state and local taxes. deductible in full from taxable income. this costs the federal government about $47 billion a year, almost 5% of the annual deficit. so what's the objection to getting rid of the state and local tax deduction? >> the deductions for state and local taxes lowers the cost the citizens are paying those state and local taxes. it means those governments can charge higher tax than they otherwise would. take that away they'll have to lower their revenues at a time when they're in trouble themselves or it's going raise the cost to the citizens who won't be happy about it. >> reporter: as lawmakers rush to rescue the economy from the fiscal cliff emergency, they have focused -- as have we thus far -- on itemized deductions. but when it comes to tax breaks or preferences, says robert... >> not just deductions. it includes things like exclusion from income, the biggest one of which is the we don't tax you on the premiums your employer pays for the health insurance we get. much bigger than anything on the deduction side. it's not the only exclusion we have. the exclusion of all the contributions to the retirement plans, your 401(k), your irks r.a., also very, very large. >> reporter: we're not going to start counting as income the money that our employer puts in for our medical insurance, are we? or for that matter, we're not going to get rid of the exclusion for putting money into a 401(k) to deaver taxation but encourage us to save more. >> it's pretty unlikely we'll count all of that income. we're already scheduled to count some of the premiums paid your employers. in 2018 the obama care will start taxing the very highest premiums, the cadillac plans. anything over that will suffer an excise tax that is like adding. we're not likely to do on the retirement-savings side because people aren't saving enough for retirement anyway. we don't want to do anything that will discourage them from putting more money in the accounts. >> reporter: we could have spent the entire week in washington itemizing tax breaks, of course. child credit. earned income tax credit. special rates for dividends and capital gains. but time is short. so we ended our tax tour here with the last often heard solution. >> one proposal we've been hearing more about is simply capping deductions. $25,000. $50,000. anything beyond that, you can't deduct. what does that do and how does that work? >> reporter: the problem with capping the deductions rather than getting rid of them entirely is you lose a lot of revenue. capping at $25,000 loses almost half the revenue you'd get by getting rid of this deduction completely. capping it $50,000 loses almost a third. there's just not enough revenue if you do only that. there's a lot more money if you go after all the tax breaks that people have. we estimate roughly $1.1 trillion a year in revenue the government gives up because of all the tax breaks. the lower rates on dividends. the exclusion and the loss of income. the deducks, the tax credit. we bring in an additional trillion dollars a year. that's enough to solve the revenue problem but it's not going to happen. >> reporter: why not? people really like the breaks they're getting. they want to be part of the tax system. it saves them money. take them away. they'll be really angry. they'll be out there defending them as strongly as possible in these negotiations. >> reporter: and unfortunately in the process making the fiscal cliff harder to avoid. >> ifill: want to know how the fiscal cliff could impact >> ifill: want to know how the fiscal cliff could impact your tax bill? calculate how much you would pay under different policy scenarios on paul's "making sense" page. >> ifill: once congress gets past its budget woes, another huge domestic challenge awaits. republicans and democrats have said they will take up immigration reform. the question is how. last week a new pew hispanic center report showed illegal immigration is on the decline. last year there were 11.1 million illegal immigrants living in the country, down from 11.2 million in 2010. that's down from a peak of 12 million unauthorized immigrants reported in 2007. latino voters overwhelmingly supported president obama in november, and he has said immigration reform will be high on his second term agenda. homeland security secretary janet napolitano will oversee the administration's next steps. ray suarez sat down with her earlier today. >> suarez: secretary napolitano, welcome to the program. >> thank you. suarez: over the week past there's been a lot of reporting saying once we figure out what to do about the fiscal cliff, immigration is next. are the people who are writing that correct? >> i certainly hope so. i think that having dealt with border enforcement and immigration enforcement for the last 20 years, i can say it is time to look at the entire system and make sure that it matches our economic needs, our law enforcement needs and our values. right now there are some mismatches that are fairly serious. >> suarez: any plan has to be assessed for its flaws ibility. is this going to work? does d.h.s. take a role in helping the political side of the shop figure out what would work and what wouldn't work in an answer for having so many people in the country out of that? >> yes. it happened in a number of ways. first we work with the white house. we're the operational side. we're the ones that manage the thousands of agents and investigators and adjudicators who are operating the immigration system, the border patrol, operating the border security mission. but as congress begins to take this subject up -- and we hope they will -- we would be there to provide them real assistance and understanding what affects different provisions could have. >> suarez: many of the members of the house and senate say, oh, sure, we'd like to do it. but border security first. what's the department of homeland security's answer? >> my answer is look at the numbers and look at what we've done on border security. we have more manpower, technology. we actually have air cover now across the entire southwest border. things that we never had before. and like i said, i started off in immigration and border enforcement. you know, 20 years with the u.s. attorney for arizona. i've seen the changes. i know what impact they have h had. so that illegal immigration numbers are down to where they were 40 years ago. you know, you're never going to feel that border. that's not a possibility. but you can discuss border security and immigration reform simultaneously now. we don't have to this kind of first this and then that. at this point they actually go together. >> suarez: it's the policy of the obama administration and of course your department to use prosecutorial discretion when you're working with people who are undocumented, who are in the country illegally. there have been reports saying that even though that's the policy, up to half of the people that the united states has sent home in the last three years haven't been violent criminals. many thousands have only committed the crime of being here out of status. >> that's not accurate. it's certainly not accurate in the last year or two as we've seen priorities get situated within the department and enforced. so that last year upwards of 90% of those we remove from the country either had criminal violations, they were repeat violators, those who use our border as kind of a revolving door or those we caught right at the border. we don't want them to get into the interior of the country. i think as we move forward, those numbers will become more and more robust in the sense of filling out who are the actual criminals who are being removed from the country, criminal in the sense they've committed violations other than or in addition to being in the country illegally? >> suarez: right now we're coming out of a jobs trough at a time when there's been slack demand for labor in the united states. is this something that has to get fixed before the job engine revs up again, before there's a hunger and a new demand for labor? does the united states have to have a better answer they've we've had in the past? >> well, i think one of the things we need to watch for is as our economy recovers, will it become kind of a draw for illegal immigrants from mexico, central america and the like? now, the mexican economy is also coming back. that actually has been very helpful. mexico now is talking about having its own border patrol on their northern border. that would be very helpful. i think we want to work together with mexico and their new leadership on what we do with respect to illegal migration from central america. but all of these things, as your question says, they all are related with each other s you have to create the right balance. you have to have the right way for people to come in legally. you have to have the right balance for who can come in to work particularly in certain jobs where there's a continued labor shortage. when you do that, it allows us on the enforcement side to focus on those who have more nefarious purposes. >> suarez: now you've been a prosecutor, as you mentioned. you've been an executive, a state executive. but you've also been an elected official long enough to know that this is a political question as well. did november 6 change the calculations on both sides of the aisle? is there a new energy to get this done one way or the other? >> well, i think speaking in terms of how we look at it, at department of homeland security and i think if the white house at large, we've been very committed from the first term to try to do something on emmigration reform. the hill was not able to take it up for a variety of reasons. but i think now there is a new willingness to take a look at this subject. it's always a tough sub. it has been historically. but we're at a period in our history where we have an opportunity to really create a 21st century immigration system that foster legal crossing, legal workers, that then allows us on the enforcement side, as i mentioned, to really focus on those who are here that are dangers to public safety and others. >> suarez: janet napolitano as secretary of homeland security, secretary, thanks for joining us. >> you bet. thank you. >> woodruff: later this week, ray will examine the state of the administration's new policy to stop deporting young immigrants who entered the country illegally as children. >> woodruff: now we turn to our ongoing coverage of the aftermath of hurricane sandy. tonight, special correspondent rick karr looks at environmental concerns in new york city. many residents in brooklyn want to know more about the risks of chemicals that may have spread when the storm surge hit. reporter: the area around brooklyn's canal could be new york city's answer to amsterdam. at least that's what some real estate developers are betting. the canal's neighbor to the north, newtown creek, can offer up its own beautiful vistas, but both waterways are also surrounded by heavy industry as they've been for more than a hundred years. so they're among the most polluted in the country. so bad that the environmental protection agency has designated both as super fund clean-up sites. >> there are persistent con tam napts there like p.c.b.s, like heavy metals, that have been there probably for a good part of the last century. >> reporter: thomas burke teaches about the environment and public health at johns hopkins university. >> there are also combustion by-product -- that sounds like a fancy term -- but that's from the old plants there, coal tar plants and plants like that so there's heavy petroleum molecules too. >> reporter: some of those chemicals in the water have been shown to cause cancer in animals. others can damage the central nervous system. both the creek and the canal overtop their banks when sandy's storm surge reached them. the water lapped on to sidewalks and poured into buildings nearby. here in the green point neighborhood the newtown creek is less than a quarter mile away. one of new york's biggest sewage treatment plants, which was also in the flood zone, is just around the corner. resident jacqueline lomb barred says water poured into her house from both directions. >> the evening that sandy hit, we were hit with an eight-foot storm surge. that basically flooded my basement up through the ceiling and my landlord's basement here up through their first floor. so it was a very smelly noxious mix. >> reporter: the flood waters drained out of lomb barred's basement imikly but left a lot of muck behind. >> there was a lot of silt, a lot of mud, a lot of debris. sewage that flowed in and then flowed out. and the residue was left. >> reporter: the flood left residue in this person's waterfront furniture workshop too. >> there was an oily sheen, a slippery feel to everything. i saw a good number of things that had a sort of white, foamy kind of almost waxy film. i really don't know what it is. it's kind of alarming to me actually. >> reporter: his workshop sits around three quarters of a mile from the mouth of the polluted canal. this oil distribution deep owe. >> we don't know what was in that water. >> reporter: this woman is a democratic member of congress who represents areas around the canal and newtown creek. she's been pushing the obama administration to find out what kinds of contaminants may have been spread by the storm. and what can be done to prevent contamination during future floods. >> we have a cluster of heavy industries that have some kind of metals, petroleum. we need to know if there are any safety and health issues that relate to this storm surge that impacted this community. >> reporter: the environmental protection agency did test a few flooded sites. two along the canal and two near the newtown creek. the agency tested the newtown creek sites 13 days after the storm. the e.p.a. detected high levels of bacteria and some gasoline and diesel fuel. the agency declined requests for an interview but in a press release reported that other chemicals that were tested were below levels of concern or not detected. thomas burke of johns hopkins used to be the state of new jersey's chief environmental scientist. he says it appears the risk from sandy's flood waters are low but it's impossible to know the long-term risks of what may have been in the water without more extensive testing. >> does every single house have to be sampled? can we characterize what was in flood waters without doing that? probably. but we do need more samples. i think if i lived there, i'd want to know. >> reporter: burke says it's difficult for the e.p.a. to do a lot testing in the wake of disaster like sandy but he says testing is the only way to ameliorate the fears of flood zone residents like jacqueline lomb barred. >> i ended up in the hospital with a full-blown case of bronchitis. eight days after so did my landlord, so did his wife. so did our neighbor. everybody sort of got sick at the same time. all of us sort of attributed it to, well, we're all stressed out. it's very cold. we're all sleeping in houses without heat or hot water. but that said, you know, there is a lot of nasty stuff hanging about. you know, again, when the e.p.a. shows up with a van and six people get out, you know, it kind of tells you something. >> reporter: lomb barred says she's lucky because she was renting she can move elsewhere. but her neighbors near the newtown creek super fund site may have to live through another flood and whatever it brings with it. >> ifill: the deadly factory fires that took hundreds of lives in pakistan and bangladesh recently are raising questions about working conditions in developing countries. we turn again to hari sreenivasan for the story. sreenivasan: fire flared from the fashions factory late into night on november 24. 112 people died in the blaze. reports quickly emerged of working conditions so dangerous that they never had a chance to escape. days of protests erupted over accounts of locked emergency exits, faulty fire extinguishers and above all callous management. >> when the fire alarm was raised our factory managers told us nothing had happened. get back to your work. the next moment flames of fire blew up. everybody died. everyone. how can we deal with this? >> sreenivasan: such fires in bangladesh have become all too common. the country sends goods all the over the u.s. and europe. this factory had links through subcontractors to retail giants such as wal-mart, sears and disney. but safety is often ignored in the pressure to keep production moving for a global supply chain. the enter in the labor rights forum says more than 600 people have died in bangladesh garment factory fires since 2005. this blaze was followed two days later by a 12-story fire in another part of the town. there were no deaths in that blaze. for more on all this we turn to steven greenhouse who covers labor and workplace issues for the noork times. thanks for being with us. steven, bring us up to speed. after that fire there were documents an activist group put out which seemed to indicate retailers unwilling to pay for some of the safety upgrades. >> yes. documents came out from a that was held last year in bangladesh. a meeting called by the government and by the bangladesh manufacturers association that was urging those giant western retailers like the gap, like wal-mart to like step up to the plate and agree to pay more for their apparel so that the bangladesh manufacturers can improve the fire safety and electrical safety in their plants. the minutes of this meeting show that wal-mart and the gap opposed that step. a lot of labor rights groups have since, have in the past week or two, really hammered wal-mart and the gap for not being willing to spend more to improve fire safety. the companies say it just would have cost too much. we're in a very competitive business. our customers like low-cost products. we're just not going to spend the money. >> sreenivasan: is there an idea of how much that would have cost? i know that clothes are at different prices? any percentage? >> the percentages i've seen, hari, are just like a half or one percent of the total cost of the apparel exported from bangladesh each year. about $19 billion worth of apparel is exported each year from bangladesh, the world's second largest apparel exporter after china. it's growing very fast largely because it has the lowest minimum wage of any country that's really exporting apparel to any sizable degree. $37 a month is the minimum wage there. >> sreenivasan: you also pointed to over the weekend a more devastating fire in pakistan. it's kind of started to lead to this maze of contractors and subcontractors. that seems to be standard operating business where an american company could be well intentioned but ultimately they don't know who is actually producing what's on the ground. >> i've written several articles on these fires with my colleagues. we found that time after time the retailers, the subcontractors, they're all asserting we didn't know about it. we didn't know that subcontractors of the subcontractors we're using at these plants. they say you can't blame us. i think many people call that plausible deniability. a lot of labor rights groups are saying retailers, subcontractors, you have to step up to the plate. you have to make sure that these fability er toes are safe. you can't blame it on subcontractors and say i didn't know. there's an international effort now led by some labor rights groups and by the company that owns philip van huson and tommy hill finger that several companies are are willing to spend the money to improve factories, have an international monitor to guarantee to inspect the plants
PBS
Dec 7, 2012 7:00pm PST
plans. >> clearly one of the biggest risks is that we don't see a deal on the fiscal cliff, or that they drag it out over a number of months. and that that really erodes confidence. >> reporter: against that backdrop, the federal reserve is trying to do all it can to help the economy. the central bank is widely expected to announce an extension of its bond buying program when it meets next week. erika miller, "n.b.r.," new york. >> tom: with the fiscal cliff about three weeks away, washington hasn't made much progress to avoid it. that was the assessment from one of those directly involved: house speaker john boehner. the top republican today accused president obama of, "slow walking", the economy to the edge of the cliff. he repeated his call for the president to send congress a plan that can pass both houses of congress. tax rates are the major sticking point. the president wants to raise them for america's highest earners, house republicans strongly oppose: >> instead of reforming the tax code and cutting spending, the president wants to raise tax rates. but even if the president
PBS
Dec 13, 2012 3:00pm PST
washington, d.c. >> reporter: as the deadline to reach a deal to avert the fiscal cliff draws ever closer, republicans say the real issue is spending cuts. >> listen, republicans want to solve this problem by getting the spending line down. the president wants to pretend that spending isn't the problem. that's why we don't have an agreement. >> reporter: a claim the white house denies, spokesman jay carney. >> let's just be clear. there is one party to these negotiations who has put forward a specific proposal for revenue and a specific proposal for spending cuts. even when the republicans-- and i saw speaker boehner do this earlier today-- insist that the president hasn't put forward spending cuts, one, it begs the question, what spending cuts have the republicans put forward? >> reporter: the president was asked if he was optimistic about reaching a deal. >> still a work in progress. >> reporter: but senate majority leader harry reid said republicans in congress should yield to public opinion about tax increases. >> speaker boehner knows or should know that the middle- class tax help th
PBS
Dec 9, 2012 3:30pm PST
. >> detroit goes into bankruptcy before the new year. >> to avoid the fiscal cliff, we will be cut between the week between christmas and new years. >> we go over the cliff and get a deal right after new years. >> mort? >> the economy is going to be very weak despite the solution on the fiscal cliff. >> ryan is right on the cliff, by the way. i predict the captioning by vitac, underwritten by fireman's fund >>> an unprecedented surrender. the oakland police department gives up authority to a court appointed director. is it enough to avoid a federal takeover? california schools are poised for a tidal wave of money, nearly $3 billion over 5 years. to make schools greener. a bleak future for african-american school-aged boys. it's one of several alarming findings of a legislative committee study. >>> plus, a conversation with an education
PBS
Dec 13, 2012 1:00am PST
most wants to get is a deal on the fiscal cliff that prevents the economy from falling back into recession, susie. >> susie: well, he better wish that again when he blows out the candles on his cake. at the present -- you know, i was struck by how much he talked about the fiscal cliff in very clear language, saying that it is a serious problem, it is already impacting the economy. and here is the important part: there is really nothing more the fed can do about it to offset going over the cliff. darren, you've been talking to so many lawmakers on the hill. do you think they're getting his message, and also in the white house as well? >> i really don't think so. i think they're aware that there are economic risks out there, but the battle between the president and the republican party and the speaker is kind of like that old saying about when elephants fight, the grass gets crushed. >> susie: i never heard that before. >> well, they're focused on the very big issue of tax rates, what the future of the fiscal policy of the country is. yes, they understand there are some economic ri
PBS
Dec 12, 2012 3:00pm PST
they have to see what happens in terms of the fiscal cliff negotiations. their hope is that those will end with a deal between congress and the president and that will make way for a steady improvement in the economy. those are the things that they will monitor to see when is the time that they can ease back. >> sreenivasan: greg ip from the "economist," thank you so much for your time. >> thank you. >> sreenivasan: wall street initially rallied on the fed's pronouncement, but the enthusiasm quickly flagged and stocks gave up the gains. in the end, the dow jones industrial average lost three points to close at 13,245. the nasdaq fell eight points to close at 3,013. indianapolis will be the first major american city to replace all city-owned cars with electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. the program announced today calls for completing the switch by 2025. the city also plans to phase in fire trucks and other heavy vehicles that run on compressed natural gas. officials said they're asking auto makers to create plug-in hybrid police cars, which don't yet exist. retiring u.s. senator joe lieberman said goodbye t
PBS
Dec 7, 2012 3:00pm PST
to slow-walk our economy right to the edge of the fiscal cliff. >> sreenivasan: the president has insisted there will be no deal unless republicans agree to raise tax rates on the top 2%. republicans say the tax hikes would only hurt job creation. but in arlington, virginia, vice president biden said today's jobs report shows the economy is turning a corner, so it's critical to get a deal. >> there is a sense... there is a sense that if we can reach an- - act like adults and reach an agreement here on the fiscal cliff, the upside is much higher even than the downside is if we don't. >> sreenivasan: biden said the president is willing to consider what he called any serious offer. aides for the two sides were expected to continue talking, through the weekend. wall street was mostly higher on the news from november's jobs report. the dow jones industrial average gained 81 points to close at 13,155. the nasdaq was hurt by another sell-off in apple stock, and fell 11 points to close at 2,978. for the week, the dow gained 1%. the nasdaq lost 1%. this was another tense day across egypt, as a political crisis deepened. tonigh
PBS
Dec 10, 2012 3:00pm PST
washington today, trying to build public support for a fiscal cliff agreement. it came a day after he resumed talking with the top house republican, and as a year-end deadline moved even closer. the president took his public campaign for a deficit deal on his terms to the daimler diesel plant in redford michigan. >> if congress doesn't act soon meaning in the next few weeks, starting on january 1, everybody is going to see their income taxes go up. it's true. y'all don't like that? >> no! woodruff: instead, mr. obama again pressed for raising tax rates on the top two percent of incomes. >> and that's a principle i won't compromise on because i'm not going to have a situation where the wealthiest among us, including folks like me, get to keep all our tax breaks and then we're asking students to pay higher student loans. >> woodruff: his michigan visit came a day after the president and house speaker john boehner met privately at the white house. their first one-on-one session since the election. neither side gave any details about what was discussed. instead they issued identical statements saying that lines of communication remain open. at the same time the sunday talk shows highlighted a partial split in g.o.p. ranks over letting the
PBS
Dec 6, 2012 12:00pm PST
lawmaker to reach a deal before the fiscal cliff deadline. the whitehouse open sists tax rates must rise on higher incomes in order to balance spending cuts but republican leadership remains committed to extending the bush tax cuts for all a tax bracket. brainer offer his response to the president. in an interview with julianna goldman of bloomberg news obama called the boehner plan quote out of balance. >> i think that we have the potential of getting a deal done, but it's going to require what i talked about during the campaign which is a balanced responsible approach to deficit reduction that can help give businesses certainty and make sure that the country grows. and unfortunately the speaker's proposal right now is still out of balance. he talks for example about $800 billion worth of revenues but he says he's going to do that by lowering rates. when you look at the math, it doesn't work. >> rose: and here is the president talking about why it's essential for him that there be tax increases for the most wealthy among us. >> i don't think that the issue right now has to do with
PBS
Dec 11, 2012 12:00pm PST
hurricane sandy. further progress will be tested as the fiscal cliff deadline approaches without a deal inside yet. i'm very pleased to have jeff immelt back on this program. welcome >> charlie, thanks, good to be back with you. >> rose: we've talked many times about g.e. since you took over, i think once since -- just after 2001. where is the company today in terms of where do you want it to be and where do you want it to be in the next five years? >> i think, charlie, what we've tried to do is simplify the portfolio into infrastructure and financial services. we like where the portfolio is today. we think in the infrastructure space there's going to be roughly $4 trillion spent each year, so it's an attractive big market. globally is where our opportunities are so the company's -- probably a decade ago 30% of our revenues were outside the united states. now it's more like 60% or 65%. so we think we've got the portfolio we want. we've dramatically increased the amount of technology. and in the end i think technology and innovation are the competitive advantage. we've got a good global footpri
PBS
Dec 9, 2012 3:00pm PST
towards the fiscal cliff. only four in 10 americans expect the white house and congress to reach a deal on the cliff before the first of the year, and if this goes south, a 53% of the american people are prepared to blame republicans. the president's job approval rating is well over 50%. congress' approval rating is under 20%. why what a the president back down? >> the president isn't interested in a balanced agreement, not particularly interested in avoiding a fiscal cliff, and clearly not been tested at all in cutting and spending. >> the senate minority leader says that what the president is interested in is getting as much taxpayer money has he can so that he can spend to his heart's content. with his approval ratings going up and congress' numbers at historic lows and the unemployment rate dropping, why with the president back down? charles? >> to some extent he is under estimating the damage she will suffer if -- he suffer if we go over the cliff. it will hurt the republicans in congress, which is why democrats will relish going over the cliff. but obama is not running again, unlike
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